From our Hot Seat series.
Upcycled fashion brand The R Collective, a project that stemmed from well-known sustainable fashion NGO Redress, recently launched its inaugural collection — a stylish line of jackets created using textiles that would otherwise have been wasted. The pieces, which were designed by Hong Kong fashion designer Victor Chu and Swiss designer Kevin Germanier, are available on The R Collective’s website and at Lane Crawford, but also made their debut internationally at Barney’s New York.
We spoke to Chu about all things sustainability and fashion.
A Little Background
Chu was passionate about a range of creative topics from when he was in secondary school, including art and design. He eventually decided to focus on fashion design, pursuing his studies at the Hong Kong Design Institute and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
5 Things You Should Know, according to Victor Chu:
1. Design must-dos
I base my designs on:
– Timelessness — I hope to extend the product life of my items
– Practicality — they are comfortable and easy to wear
– Simplicity, as less is more
– Uniqueness, so that they stand out from the crowd
2. Look beyond Hong Kong’s surface
People usually think that Hong Kong fashion is commercial and based on plagiarism of ideas, or that most people haven’t developed their own style yet. In my opinion, fashion in Hong Kong has great potential.
3. Take care of Mother Earth
I urge designers to consider the environment and our society during the design process. Careful consideration of the final impact of the designs is an important part of the process. This will help us be less wasteful and conserve more materials.
4. Sustainability is on an upswing
From my understanding, most people have heard of sustainable fashion, and the fashion world has an increasing focus on sustainability. The fact that designers are able to start their own sustainable fashion brands in today’s competitive landscape is a good sign!
5. Upcycling is an art
Upcycling aims to make textile waste more and more valuable. It involves generating different ideas around how to give the waste a second life and and grant it longevity. This takes creativity and technical know-how.